Leavenworth Rock Climbing Guides and Instruction
Leavenworth is Washington State’s premier rock climbing destination. Situated in the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, Leavenworth is an ideal location for rock guiding and instruction due to its relatively dry environment. Leavenworth's rock climbing neatly divides into 3 main areas: Icicle Creek Canyon, Tumwater Canyon, and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. In addition to these three cragging areas, Leavenworth has developed into one of the best bouldering areas on the West Coast.
The Northwest Mountain School offers daily rock climbing lessons and guided rock climbs near Leavenworth. Due to a drier east side location our season starts in early March and most years can run into early November. Trip offerings range from half-day climbs to multi-day adventures in the mountains around Leavenworth. We offer basic instruction, but can also provide rock rescue and lead climbing instruction.
The following links will lead you to various pages on our website that detail a variety of options for those wanting to either learn to climb or move closer to being able to climb on their own. If you have any questions it is often best to give us a call at 509-548-5823 so that we can direct you to the most appropriate itinerary for the skills you want to develop.
Basic Rock Climbing Courses
Intermediate Rock Climbing Courses
Advanced Rock Climbing Courses
Private Rock Climbing Courses and Instruction
Guided Climbs in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Leavenworth Rock Climbing Overview
Rock Climbs in Icicle Creek Canyon
Located a few miles SW of downtown Leavenworth, the “Icicle” is home to the majority of the Leavenworth area rock climbing. Icicle Creek has a nice mix of route difficulties and lengths that allow beginners and veterans alike to find appropriate climbs on just about any day from March through October.
Rock Climbs in Tumwater Canyon
The Tumwater lies to the NW of Leavenworth and is a much more rugged and steep canyon than the Icicle. While there is likely more climbable rock in the Tumwater, than the Icicle, access to many of the larger walls is complicated enough to keep most climbers away. The primary area used by guides is Castle Rock, but recent route development and exploration provides us with a several other venues on days when we are looking for quiet out of the way spots to climb.
Rock Climbs in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Snowcreek Wall is the accessible gem of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness rock climbing scene. We offer guided climbs of Snow Creek wall via routes such as Outer Space, Orbit, and more challenging lines on this 5 to 8 pitch high granite wall. For those wishing to go deeper into the Alpine Lakes we offer long one-day and overnight climbs to spots such as Mt. Stuart, Dragontail Peak, Colchuck Peak, Ingalls Peak, Sherpa Peak, and other mountains within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. We are not able to offer climbs on Prussick Peak as this lies within the Enchantments permit area and this area is closed to commercial use.
Guided Rock Climbing in Leavenworth Area
Our guided rock climbing courses last from a few hours to several days, depending on what you are looking for. Most programs are organized on a private basis and the cost is determined by the ratio of climbers to guides and the length of the course. We offer basic instruction in all forms of rock climbing as well as rock rescue, lead climbing, multi-pitch climbing, and teach very specific skills such as belay-station management, in order to improve an individual climber’s efficiency. We also are available for those who are simply looking for a partner when in town for a day or those who want to climb a specific route or wall within our permit area.
Why Hire a Guide to Climb in Leavenworth?
We find that one of the main things a guide can provide climbers new to Leavenworth is a very efficient tour of an area that is notoriously complicated to navigate. On a hot day a guide can string together 6-8 pitches of rock out of the sun, at your grade, while on a cool day they can time things so that you get an equal amount of climbing in while managing to stay in the sun.
Some Route ideas for a Leavenworth Rock Climbing Trip
Suggested Single Pitch Crack Climbs
- Saber (5.5) - Tumwater
- Classic Crack (5.8+) - Icicle
- Dogleg Crack (5.8+) - Icicle
- Janetors of Justice (5.8+) - Icicle
- Forty-Four Fifty (5.9) - Icicle
- Gun Rack (5.9) - Tumwater
- Poison Ivy Crack (5.9) - Icicle
- Ski Tracks Crack (5.9) - Icicle
- The Bone (5.9) - Tumwater
- Celestial Groove (5.9+) - Icicle
- Cocaine Crack (5.10a) - Icicle
- Meatgrinder (5.10a) - Icicle
- Bo Derek (5.10b) - Icicle
- Z-Crack (5.10c) - Icicle (often top roped)
- Mr. Clean (5.10c) - Tumwater
- Carnival Crack (5.10d) - Icicle (offwidth)
- Pumpline (5.11a) - Icicle
- ROTC (5.11c) - Tumwater
Suggested Multi-pitch Crack Climbs
- Right Crack - Mountaineers Dome (5.2 - 2P) - Icicle
- Saber-Cat Burgler (5.6 - 3P) - Tumwater
- Midway-Midway Direct (5.6 - 3P) - Tumwater
- R&D (5.6 - 4P) - Icicle
- Tree Route (5.6 - 2P) - Icicle
- Groundhog Day (5.7 - 3P) - Tumwater
- Canary (5.8 - 2P) - Tumwater
- The Fault-Catapult (5.8 - 3P) - Tumwater
- Givler’s Crack (5.8 - 3P) - Icicle
- Saints (5.8+ - 3P) - Tumwater
- Yard Art (5.9 - 2P) - Icicle
- Cloud Nine (5.9+ - 2P) - Icicle
- Heart of Gold (5.10- - 4P) - Icicle
- Bale-Kramar Route (5.10b - 4P) - Icicle
- Brass Balls (5.10b - 2P) - Tumwater
- Regular Route (5.10b - 4P) - Icicle
Suggested Single Pitch Sport Climbs
- Baby Steps (5.4) - Icicle
- Crab Cakes (5.8+) - Icicle
- Don’t Forget Arete (5.9) - Icicle
- Jazzy Document (5.9) - Icicle
- Stone’s Throw (5.9) - Icicle
- Nose Job (5.9+) - Icicle
- Veins of Glory (5.10b) - Icicle
Classic Multi-pitch Sport Climbs
- Condorphamine Addiction (5.10b - 7P) - Icicle
Suggested Alpine Rock Climbs around Leavenworth
- Ingalls Peak - South Ridge (5.4 - 3P)
- Mt. Stuart - West Ridge (5.6 - 18+P)
- Ingalls Peak - East Ridge (5.7 - 5P)
- Mt. Stuart - Upper North Ridge (5.7-5.9 - 18P)
- Dragontail Peak - Serpentine Ridge (5.8 - 13P)
- Orbit (5.8+ - 5P) - Snowcreek Wall
- Sherpa Peak - North Ridge (5.8 - 12P)
- Dragontail Peak - Backbone Ridge (5.9 - 13P)
- Outer Space (5.9 - 6P) - Snowcreek Wall
- Iconoclast (5.10c - 6-8P) - Snowcreek Wall
- Hyperspace (5.10d - 6-8P) - Snowcreek Wall
Lodging Options in Leavenworth:Leavenworth is a very popular tourist destination and as a result has every imaginable type of lodging. If you decide to overnight in Leavenworth your options range from very nice hotels to a simple campsite. The following is a list of some of our favorite spots. A more complete list can be obtained by contacting the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.
Camping around LeavenworthThere are seven campgrounds along Icicle Creek Canyon. These are administered by the US Forest Service and each is first-come, first-serve. It is generally not hard to secure a campsite, but on busy holiday weekends, you will want to arrive early. Campsites have established campsites, pit toilets, and water, but there are not showers. Our favorite sites include Eightmile, Bridegecreek and Johnny Creek. Contact the Wenatchee River Ranger District for details.
High End Accommodations near LeavenworthSleeping Lady Retreat and Conference Center
Run of the River Inn
Moderately Priced Accommodations near LeavenworthHoward Johnson Inn - Leavenworth